Skip to main content

A cost-effective interactive 3D virtual reality system applied to military live firing training


The goal of the present study was to develop a cost-effective, man–machine digital interface, to improve students’ real-world firing range training, results, and achievement scores. A serious game-based learning environment was developed, integrating invisible laser infrared technology, 1:1 real-scale rifle guns with recoil effects, as well as 3D interactive virtual reality (VR) military training digital information content, to train students in military live firing. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed design, students’ performance, in terms of their learning achievement and learning motivation, was examined. One hundred and sixty high school students from Taiwan were divided into four individual groups of 40 students each, with one control group and three experimental groups (EG1, EG2, and EG3). The data were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance. The results of this cost-effective 3D VR showed significantly better learning motivation, learning outcomes, and positive impacts on users’ actual live firing achievement scores.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13


  • Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  • Csete J, Wong Y-H, Vogel D (2004) Mobile devices in and out of the classroom. In: Paper presented at the world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications

  • Defense USDO (2013) US army ranger handbook. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Garris R, Ahlers R, Driskell JE (2002) Games, motivation, and learning: a research and practice model. Simul Gaming 33(4):441–467

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hagman JD (2000) Basic rifle marksmanship training with the laser marksmanship training system. Retrieved from

  • Hsu J (2010) For the US military, video games get serious. Retrieved from

  • Huizenga J, Admiraal W, Akkerman S, Dam GT (2009) Mobile game-based learning in secondary education: engagement, motivation and learning in a mobile city game. J Comput Assist Learn 25(4):332–344

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hummel HGK, Van Houcke J, Nadolski RJ, Van Der Hiele T, Kurvers H, Löhr A (2011) Scripted collaboration in serious gaming for complex learning: effects of multiple perspectives when acquiring water management skills. Br J Educ Technol 42(6):1029–1041. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2010.01122.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hung C-Y, Kuo F-O, Sun J-Y, Yu P-T (2014) An interactive game approach for improving students’ learning performance in multi-touch game-based learning. IEEE Trans Learn Technol 7(1):31–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hwang GJ, Wu PH (2012) Advancements and trends in digital game-based learning research: a review of publications in selected journals from 2001 to 2010. Br J Educ Technol 43(1):6–10. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01242.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kebritchi M, Hirumi A, Bai H (2010) The effects of modern mathematics computer games on mathematics achievement and class motivation. Comput Educ 55(2):427–443

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kennedy H (1999) Simulation reshaping military training. Retrieved from

  • Ku O, Chen SY, Wu DH, Lao ACC, Chan T-W (2014) The effects of game-based learning on mathematical confidence and performance: high ability vs. Low Ability 17:65–78

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim CP (2008) Global citizenship education, school curriculum and games: learning Mathematics, English and Science as a global citizen. Comput Educ 51(3):1073–1093

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lim C-W, Jung H-W (2013) A study on the military serious game. Adv Sci Technol Lett 39:73–77

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liou W-K, Lee S-C (2012) Application of laser guide and wireless control method on military training and the FPS game system. In: 2012 IEEE 4th international conference on paper presented at the digital game and intelligent toy enhanced learning (DIGITEL)

  • Marsh T (2011) Serious games continuum: between games for purpose and experiential environments for purpose. Entertain Comput 2(2):61–68

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller LM, Chang C-I, Wang S, Beier ME, Klisch Y (2011) Learning and motivational impacts of a multimedia science game. Comput Educ 57(1):1425–1433. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.01.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Post (2013) Canadian military using video simulations and popular shooting games to boost ordinary training. Retrieved from

  • Papastergiou M (2009) Digital game-based learning in high school computer science education: impact on educational effectiveness and student motivation. Comput Educ 52(1):1–12. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.06.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sánchez J, Olivares R (2011) Problem solving and collaboration using mobile serious games. Comput Educ 57(3):1943–1952

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sung H-Y, Hwang G-J (2013) A collaborative game-based learning approach to improving students’ learning performance in science courses. Comput Educ 63:43–51. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.11.019

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sung H-Y, Hwang G-J, Yen Y-F (2015) Development of a contextual decision-making game for improving students’ learning performance in a health education course. Comput Educ 82:179–190. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.11.012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Szondy D (2014). US army examining next-gen augmented reality “live synthetic” simulations. Retrieved from

  • Van Der Spek ED, Wouters P, Van Oostendorp H (2011) Code red: triage or cognition-based design rules enhancing decisionmaking training in a game environment. Br J Educ Technol 42(3):441–455. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01021.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang LC, Chen MP (2010) The effects of game strategy and preference-matching on flow experience and programming performance in game-based learning. Innov Educ Teach Int 47(1):39–52

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whitney SJ, Temby P, Stephens A (2014) A review of the effectiveness of game-based training for dismounted soldiers. J Def Model Simul Appl Methodol Technol 11(4):319–328

    Google Scholar 

  • Wijers M, Jonker V, Kerstens K (2008) MobileMath: the phone, the game and the math. In: Paper presented at the proceedings of the European conference on game based learning, Barcelona

  • Wolff RS, Purvis EJ, McCormack RT, Barber PG (2003). Moving weapons platform simulation system and training method. Google patents

Download references


This research is parti2ally supported by the “Aim for the Top University Project” of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, R.O.C. and the “International Research-Intensive Center of Excellence Program” of NTNU, and National Science Council, Taiwan, R.O.C. under Grant No. NSC 103-2911-I-003-301.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chun-Yen Chang.

Additional information

Kaushal Kumar Bhagat and Wei-Kai Liou have contributed equally to this work.

Appendix A: Motivation questionnaire

Appendix A: Motivation questionnaire

  1. 1.

    Are you satisfied with this teaching method?

  2. 2.

    Do you agree this teaching method benefited for your shooting skills?

  3. 3.

    Do you agree this teaching method help you to learn easier?

  4. 4.

    Do you agree this teaching method increases your motivation for learning shooting skills?

  5. 5.

    Do you agree this teaching method makes you spontaneous to learn?

  6. 6.

    Do you agree this teaching method allows you to concentrate better?

  7. 7.

    Do you agree this teaching method makes you more actively involved?

  8. 8.

    Do you agree this teaching method enhances the interaction between you and instructor?

  9. 9.

    Do you agree this teaching method has positive influence on your learning achievement?

  10. 10.

    Do you agree this teaching method builds self-confidence in the true live firing range exam?

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bhagat, K.K., Liou, WK. & Chang, CY. A cost-effective interactive 3D virtual reality system applied to military live firing training. Virtual Reality 20, 127–140 (2016).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Serious games
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Military training
  • Learning outcome
  • Learning motivation